I overheard some professors discussing the next round of hiring at my university and several were concerned about gender bias possibly playing an issue in the hiring process. An initial thought is to just go through CV's and black out an applicant's name. However, an academic job search makes it much more difficult to do this. Not only do applicants have CV's, but there are also typically 3 letters of recommendations as well as publication lists (which might reveal the identity of an individual if the paper is known by some of the hiring panel).
Some suggestions that were thrown out involve trying to find a way to scan through 2-300 applicant materials and black out/replace gender pronouns and names. From browsing StackOverflow, there is apparently quite a bit of difficulty with this from a programming perspective. Still, it seems the most efficient way to remove as much gender bias as possible in the process but doesn't seem to be widely used.
What are some of the best ways a hiring panel can remove gender bias from the application process?
This question could also potentially extend to ways to generally remove other forms of bias, such as ethnic bias.